Street Team: Backing Up Your Schoolwork

If you’ve ever had your computer crash with one page left to go of a 3,000 word paper, then this article is for you. A lot of students who come into the Technology Service Center simply don’t backup their data. Even if you’re saving your work every 5 minutes, backing up your files is essential. You can save all you want, but if a file becomes corrupted or if your hard drive mysteriously catches on fire, you’ll be completely out of luck. There are a few different companies that offer solutions to this problem, but Dropbox is arguably the most popular.

Dropbox is a service that allows you to backup and share files via the internet, quickly and easily. You can save all of your schoolwork in a single folder and, without you doing a thing, Dropbox will copy all of your schoolwork to its servers for safekeeping (or sharing, if you’re into that sort of thing). Setting up Dropbox is straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time.

Setting up a Dropbox account:

 

1. Navigate to http://www.dropbox.com (or just click the link) in your web browsers

2. In the top right corner, click the “Download” link. A new page should open, and a download link should appear.

3. Once the file finishes downloading, double click it and the installer should begin running. Click “install” and Dropbox should begin installing.

4. Eventually, the installation dialog should display a screen asking if you either a. don’t have a dropbox account or b. already have a dropbox account. If you haven’t already registered an account at dropbox.com, select the first option.

 

5. The sign-up form should now appear. Fill-in the required situation, give your computer a name for Dropbox to recognize, and click next.

6. Dropbox’s pricing list should now show up. Unless you wish to pay a monthly fee, select the free 2GB option. Pricing options on the paid Dropbox plans are availabe on the Dropbox website.

7. On the next prompt, select typical setup. Dropbox may now prompt you for your mobile phone number, this is optional. Only enter your phone number if you wish to set up Dropbox on a mobile device as well.

8. Continue through the setup prompt and Dropbox tour.

9. Setup should now be completed.

 

Now, inside your user folder (where your find your Downloads, Music, Videos, etc. folders) will be a folder titled “Dropbox”. Any files you put inside this folder will sync to your Dropbox account.

 

If you prefer not to use Dropbox, for whatever reason, there are a few different services that offer similar free plans (and use similar setup proccesses):

http://mozy.com/home/free/

https://spideroak.com/

http://www.google.com/drive/

Good luck, and don’t forget to back up your data!

Meet the Team: Katie Baldwin

Katie Baldwin is the TSC’s first official Student Worker of the Month. Since the start of the Fall 2013 semester, Katie has been non-stop.  She works as a student technician, fixing computers, removing spyware, and replacing parts.  In the month of September, the TSC for the Street Team and Katie picked up double-duty serving as a Brand Ambassador for the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

 

afterlight

 

As a member of the Street Team, Katie writes blog articles, takes part in campus events representing OIT, and testing new technology that students may be interested in.  Outside the TSC, Katie is a Junior International Marketing major. She is pledging AOII and plays Gaelic Football.

We are very thankful to have Katie is a member of our team and couldn’t do what we do without her!

 

 

Street Team: 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

This week, our featured Street Team member is Rich McIntosh.  Rich is a Junior BI major who has worked in Information Technology since he was a freshman. He is now serving in the TSC in the position of Brand Ambassador.  Keep an eye out for Rich at a campus event near you!

 

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

Pretty much everyone has had the experience where, seemingly for no reason, their computer begins to run slow. Sadly, the reality is that computers start to slow down for various reasons over time. This applies to both Mac and Windows computers, and it can put a huge damper on the computing experience. Fortunately, though, there are a few steps you can take to speed things up.

 

1) Defragment your hard drive (Windows Only)

A fragmented hard drive (essentially meaning that it’s disorganized to the computer) can be a big performance killer. Almost all Windows laptops and desktops will suffer from this issue at some point in the computer’s lifespan. If you have an Apple computer, this probably won’t be an issue for you. The way that OS X writes files to the hard drive largely eliminates the need for defragmentation. However, for the vast majority of users on campus, fragmentation will become an issue over time. Windows has a built in defragmentation utility that will suffice for most situations, and you’ll want to make sure you have at least 10-15% of free space on your hard drive before you run it.

You can find step-by-step instructions on defragmenting your hard drive on Microsoft’s website. Click on the version you have to be taken to the site:

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 8

 

2) Clean off junk files from your hard drive (Windows & Mac)

This particular tip applies equally to both Mac and Windows computers. Third party software tends to install a significant amount of “bloatware” (unneeded and unwanted programs/files) and over time this can slow a computer down significantly. A good, free utility for cleaning off these junk files is called CCleaner and it can be downloaded at http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner. Instructions on using CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/using-ccleaner. Make sure that you are downloading CCleaner from piriform.com, the official website, or filehippo.com, another official location for the download.

 

3) Eliminate unnecessary startup programs (Windows & Mac)

 

If your computer is taking a long time to boot up, it’s almost always going to be as a result of the number of programs attempting to run when it boots. CCleaner has a utility built in that allows you to see what programs are running on startup and delete them. Almost no software has a need to be running as soon as you turn on your computer, besides antivirus or antispyware software. Otherwise, there’s very little benefit, and quite a few drawbacks.  Also, when you install many programs (for example, Spotify) you will be asked if you want this program to run at startup. Choosing NO is the best option.

4) Run regular virus/spyware scans (Windows & sometimes Mac)

This tip applies especially to Windows machines, although arguably will apply to Macs as they are becoming more and more widely used. You should be running virus scans weekly, at the very least, on your computer. All it takes is clicking the “Scan your computer” button and letting it run in the background for 45 minutes to an hour. Viruses and spyware can bog a computer down and render it more or less unusable, and that’s one of the less severe results of malware. If you need anti-virus software installed on your computer, you can stop by the Technology Service Center (TSC), where we do any software installs and hardware troubleshooting in SC129, any time during business hours and it will be installed free-of-charge.

 

5) Don’t save every single file to your desktop (Windows & Mac)

 

Does your desktop look something like this (or worse)?

This one may sound a little silly but it’s one of the most common things I’ve seen working on both Faculty and Student computers. If you’re saving every single file to your desktop, your computer is going to be noticeably slower. It has to render the icon and store meta information for every single file, and it’s very taxing on the computer when you start nearing hundreds or thousands of files. Even creating a folder on the desktop and saving everything in there would be an improvement, but ideally one should utilize the Downloads, Documents, Videos, Music and Pictures folders. Both Mac and Windows use pretty much the same setup as far as those five folders are concerned, and using them instead of the desktop will both help you be a lot more organized and possibly eliminate some performance issues.

 

As always, if you have any questions on these tips or need assistance following any of the instructions, we are more than happy to help at the TSC in SC129!

Street Team: Back to School and the Perfect Speakers

The Office of Information Technology blog will now have a special column featuring student writers, under the category “Street Team”.  Each week you can expect an article from a student geared toward students!

This week, we will be featuring an article from Katie Baldwin. Katie is a Junior International Marketing major. She has worked in IT since she was a freshman and was recently promoted to the position of Brand Ambassador for the Technology Service Center (TSC).  Katie serves as a member of our newly created TSC Street Team so be on the lookout for her around campus!

We’re excited for Katie to be serving in the new role and invite you to read below for her article:

Best Speakers for Fall 2013

While moving in and trying to create the perfect living space this year, I overheard a few people discussing the cool concepts for speakers that have recently become popular. Living in dorms means that making a space your own is a must.  Whether you do that through colorful bedding, a big gaming setup, or unique posters is up to you; however, adding an extra touch like some funky speakers can really light up a room. Some cool designs for speakers include:

  • These little headphonies are generally widely available around local stores. They are tiny and very portable, but still add an extra design factor to spice up your music.  Bonus: they are very reasonably priced!


  • Biodegradable speakers in a donut shape might not be what you think of normally, but its a way to go green while still enjoying your music. (Pulpop Mp3 Speakers)

  • Or there are also cardboard speakers you can go green and get creative with that are less expensive (Eco Nation speakers by Merkury)

 

  • Animal shaped speakers have also been a trend, such as these pig ones, or these panda one

IDEA pig speakersMYKIND panda speakers

 

  • One of the most talked about designs this summer has been these water speakers. I have several friends who own and love these cool speakers.

Check out a video of them in action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKZahuOpdwM

USB Powered Colorful LED Fountain Dancing Water Music Speakers

I’ve heard mixed reviews on the sound quality of most of these speakers though, mostly because their focus is the design and not the sound quality.

 

If you’re looking for something with a high audio quality, Altec Lansing makes some really good speakers that won’t break the bank. They have a big selection of various designs depending on what you’re looking for.  Check out some reviews at http://www.cnet.com/topic/altec-lansing.html.

Dayton B652 speakers also provide surprisingly good sound quality for a relatively inexpensive price tag.

Personally, I would suggest investing in a really good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. You can blast music as loud as you want and not disturb your neighbors or roommate, but you can also quietly listen to music without overhearing the argument going on next door. I have a pair of Sony MDR-NC13 noise canceling headphones which I got just before freshman year and have been a lifesaver (especially for sophomores and upperclassmen living on the Overbrook campus who take the shuttle in every morning). Also, look out for noise isolating headphones, which generally don’t handle low frequency, bass tones as well, but can block voices and inconsistent sounds better.

Some current reviews suggest:

  • Klipsch Image s4A

  • Bose Quiet Comfort collection

  • Shure’s  SE215 Sound isolating earbuds

They can get to be a little pricey, but keep in mind that the less you spend the less likely they will be to block out all sound. Same for the speakers, the cheaper they are, the probability that the audio quality is bad goes up.

Welcome back to SJU!

Classroom and Lab Technology Improvements

In order to enhance the teaching and learning experience at SJU, we’ve been actively working on improvements to the classroom and lab technology on campus.  Not only did we replace existing technology, but we added new presentation equipment to classrooms that did not have it prior and completed a major enhancement to the Moot Board Rooms.

We’re extremely excited to say that now, for the first time ever, EVERY teaching and learning space on campus now has presentation technology installed! So, no matter what classroom or lab you are in, you will have the technology you need to make a presentation.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s new and where:

ME174-1

Merion Hall – room 174, a new collaborative technology classroom, is the marque classroom of this summer’s improvements. Designed to support the expansion of the Communication Studies program, this classroom features state-of-the-art technology in a flexible layout giving faculty and students maximum flexibility.

Bellarmine Hall – rooms 102 and 229 have completely new installations, which include a PC, Bluray/DVD player, document camera, VGA & HDMI laptop input and a projector or LCD display.

McShain Hall – rooms 2, 3, and 4 were installed as well with a PC, Bluray/DVD, document camera, VGA and HDMI laptop input.

Post Hall – rooms 101,302 and 305, now have a Mac Mini, Bluray/DVD Player, document camera, Laptop VGA & HDMI input.

Science Center – room 434 has a completely new installation with a PC, Bluray/DVD, document camera, VGA and HDMI laptop input.

Note: All of the upgrades and new installs do not feature VHS players.  However, one can easily be provided, if needed.

In addition to adding new technology to rooms, we have also upgraded existing presentation technology in 14 teaching spaces across campus, including the following:

Barbelin Hall – rooms 225 and 226 have a PC, Laptop VGA/HDMI input and document camera.

Post Hall – rooms 203 and 204 have a Mac Mini, Laptop VGA/HDMI input and document camera.

Science Center – rooms 300 and 400 have a PC, Laptop VGA/HDMI input and document camera.

Additionally, nearly 200 lab and teaching podium computers were replaced as well as 750 more computers updated in labs and classrooms across campus!

post-lab

All this was made possible by the great work of our Media Services and Lab Support teams, who worked tirelessly over the summer to ensure all of this technology was installed and ready to go when you return. A special thanks goes out to all of these folks that made all of this happen!

If you have any questions regarding a specific classroom, please contact Media Services at x1770 or email mediaservices@sju.edu and we will be happy to help!

Have a great semester!

Cable TV Setup Instructions

ctvcableWe know that part of getting settled in at SJU includes having access to your favorite TV shows, so here are some simple instructions on how to get you up and running on the SJU cable TV system!

Any TV will work on the SJU television system. To get connected, follow these steps:

      1. Connect a coax cable (this is not provided by IT) to the TV outlet on the wall and to the back of your TV.  You should plan to supply this cable. Virtually any digital TV can be connected simply and easily although there are some models that must be handled like an analog TV (see below).
      2. Turn on the TV.
      3. TV menus differ by manufacturer and model, but open the menu for your TV. Generally you should open ‘settings’ or something similar.  Select the option to autoprogram/channel setup/channel scan in order to prompt your TV to identify available channels on the campus television system.  You should refer to your owner’s manual if you cannot locate the correct option from your menu. Note that while there are 4 channels from 3.1 through 3.4 that are reserved for special/future programming, at this time all the available TV channels will be between 23.1 and 34.8. (96 channels)
      4. If the TV does not find any or all the channels, you may need to run this scan a second time.

If you have an analog TV (typically an older model that will often have a picture tube), or certain digital TV models, you will need a small set top converter box called an iview. The iview has an RF input connection that you should connect to the TV outlet on the wall using a coax cable and then a second cable should be connected from the RF output on the iview to your TV.  We have a limited number of these iview boxes available to students as needed. To request one, contact the TSC and we will arrange to have one delivered. Once this is connected, you will still need to run the autoprogram/scan once or twice as noted above.

The cable tv channel line-ups and other usefule information can be found at http://www.sju.edu/int/studentlife/studentresources/housing/oncampus/housinginformation/cable.html

If you have any problems with your cable setup, please contact the TSC at techhelp@sju.edu or x2920.

Wireless Improvements

Smartphone RadioAt the end of every school year, we survey SJU students to find out how we can provide better technology services and enrich your learning experience.  Throughout the year, you voiced concern about the speed and reliability of the wireless network. We understand that this was not conducive to your educational and living experience and as a result we made changes.

During the summer months, our Networking team upgraded nearly 40 campus locations with faster, more consistent wireless controllers, powered by Ruckus Wireless. To give you a sense of what this means, nearly 400, or almost half of the 803 wireless access points currently installed across campus, were upgraded. We expect that all of this work will result in faster, more reliable wireless connectivity from Rashford Hall to the Morris Quad Townhouses, and everything in between.

photoEighteen student residence halls were upgraded:

Ashwood Hall, Berwick 35 (Maguire Campus), Hogan Hall, Jordan Hall, LaFarge Residence Center, Lancaster Court (powered by Hotwire), Lannon Hall, Merion Gardens, Moore Hall, Quirk Hall, Rashford Hall, Sourin Residence Center, St. Albert’s Hall, St. Mary’s Hall, Sullivan Hall, Tara Hall, Michael J. Morris Quad Townhouses, and
Xavier Hall.

In addition, the following administrative buildings were also upgraded:

Barry Hall, The SJU Bookstore, Bronstein Hall, Bronstein Annex, Campions Student Center, Claver Hall, The Cardinal John P. Foley Campus Center, Haub Executive Center (McShain Hall – 5th Floor), Mossbaum Hall, Regis Hall, Simpson Hall, St. Thomas Hall, Technology Service Center (TSC – Science Center 129), Toland Hall (Fine Arts West), Wolfington Center.

Plus the following academic buildings have new wireless:

Bellarmine Hall, Boland Hall, Connelly Hall, Nicoletti Music Studio, Post Hall

Finally, for those of you “studying” at Cosi and Starbucks, they were upgraded as well.

If you have questions about setting up your wireless, stop by the TSC at any time over move-in weekend.  You can also call us at x2920 or email techhelp@sju.edu.

Email Issues: August 19th, 10:00am

As of right now, we are seeing sporadic Zmail issues. You will not be able to send email to external addresses (Gmail, Comcast, Yahoo, etc).  Internal SJU email is still working.

 

We are working diligently to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your patience.

Outlook 2010 Change Needed for New Zimbra

1.  In Outlook 2010, go to File – Account Settings – click Account Settings.

zimbra1

2.  Select the Zimbra account and click Change

zimbra2

3.  Under Server Name, check the box that reads Use Secure Connection.

zimbra3

4.  Click Apply.  Click OK.

5.  Close Outlook.  Reopen Outlook and incoming mail will begin to filter in.

Outlook 2007 Change Needed for New Zimbra

1.  In Outlook 2007, go to Tools – click Account Settings.

zimbra2007
2.  Select the Zimbra account and click Change.
3.  Under Server Name, check the box that reads Use Secure Connection.
4.  Click Apply.  Click OK.
5.  Close Outlook.  Reopen Outlook and incoming mail will begin to filter in.